The Knicks may not have made the big splash that many thought they’d make, but they’re certainly not sitting on their hands thus far in free agency.
Their fifth signing for New York in this young free agency period is Wayne Ellington on a two-year, $16 million deal, per Woj:
Free agent Wayne Ellington has agreed to a two-year, $16M deal with the New York Knicks, agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
If you recall, Ellington already had a cup of tea as a Knick, coming over when Tyson Chandler was traded away in 2014. However, he was almost immediately moved and never actually played a game in New York. So this is sort of a redemption story?
Outside of Julius Randle and Bobby Portis, it seems like the Knicks’ MO so far has been to sign veteran role players who, despite being a little on the older side, have had some of their best seasons recently. Ellington, for example, put up 10.3 points per game this year on a .403/.371/.796 slash line, including seven attempts per game from deep. Pretty similar to Reggie Bullock’s numbers from a year ago as well, which will be a welcome addition to a Knicks team that struggled pretty mightily from behind the arc last year.
One could argue that the money for Ellington is a bit of an overpay, but that’s kind of what you have to do when you’re a 17-win team that didn’t add a superstar like many thought you would. One thing that’s become abundantly obvious during the Knicks’ free agency proceedings so far is that they’re not at all enamored with next year’s free agency class, only handing out large two-year deals and leaving the door wide open for another all-out run at free agency in 2021.
With Ellington’s deal, the Knicks still have about $11.5 million in cap space to either spend or absorb salary with. I’m personally hoping for the latter, and with Ellington now signed on the dotted line, that exhausts almost all of the non-superstar players the Knicks were linked to prior to the start of free agency.
Updated Knicks Cap— #FreeKFS: Knicks Film School (@JeffreyBellone) July 1, 2019
With the Wayne Ellington signing, the Knicks now have a roster of 12 players, leaving them with $11.5M in cap space pic.twitter.com/YguAddm7Xn
It will be interesting to see how the Knicks use the rest of that space. At the rate free agency’s been going, I’d assume we’ll know by later this afternoon.